THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BOTTLES IN OUR LIVES

I was sitting at work, back in the days when I actually worked, daydreaming about bottles when the boss walked in and seeing the vacant look on my face hollered, “You thinking about old bottles again?”

To most it would seem frivolous to spend so much of my life focused on old bottles. I found my first antique bottle when I was on a walk in the woods when I was in college. The hobby of collecting old bottles has held my attention for more than 35 years. I have moved from digging, collecting bottles to researching and writing about old bottles. There seems to me no end to the learning involved and I am a learner. However, I realize how insignificant antique bottles are in the greater scheme of things but when looked at impartially, bottles have a major impact on our lives. Bottles are connected with many of the most important event in our lives. Birth, marriage, travel, health, and eating are important human activities and bottles lie behind the scenes.

"Drinking a toast" became all the rage in the 17th and 18th centuries. When the party ran out of physical attendees to toast, they started toasting absent friends as an excuse to keep drinking. Toasting competitions and other strange customs raged then died. Young men would stab themselves in the arm and mix their blood with wine when toasting a young lass to prove their devotion and prowess. And the practice of drinking to a lady's beauty from her shoe was born. A Short History of the Toast - Why We Raise Our Glasses to the Host By Peter Svans.

Well a shoe is not a bottle, but you get the point. Consider the importance of a bottle to a man stranded on a desert island. Not only would the bottle provide a good container for drinking water, but might well serve as a life-saver in the form of a means to send a message.

Not convinced? At one time bottles were so important, they were buried with their owners. Archaeologists wantonly destroying early Indian graves found 16th and 17th century black glass bottles in some. In the early 19th century, bottles were never thrown out – people thought they were valuable. I know how they feel. With all the bottles I have around the house one might think I was obsessed with them…but I don’t think so. Like the old saying goes, I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

While all this was going through my head, my wife called and told me to stop on the way home and get a bottle of bubbly. I jumped in the car and turned on the radio they were, of course, playing Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce.

... If I could save time in a bottle The first thing that Id like to do Is to save every day Till eternity passes away ...

I hadn’t gone more than a mile when I noticed, my car had a flat tire and I had to use the bottle-jack to change it. After working all day, stopping at the store, changing the tire, and dealing with the bottleneck of traffic, the first words out my wife's mouth when I came through the door were, "Well finally, here's the chief cook and bottle washer." It's enough to make one hit the bottle. My psychologist talks to me about my bottled-up feelings. She thinks most of my problems have to do with bottle-depravation since I was not a bottle-fed baby. To calm down, I took out my Bible to read a verse and opened to:

And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.”

Thinking about bottles breaking did nothing to calm me down, so I called my doctor, well you know the rest, he told me to take a bottle of aspirin and go to bed.